Volume 1 Issue 1

Letter to the Editor: I Regret My Vote for a Wasted Tax Increase

Dear Editor,

I actually voted for my taxes to be increased so we wouldn’t lose outdoor lab, busing, music, or have class sizes for my 6th grader of greater than 30 kids. I put my trust ahead of my “gut feelings” that were telling me that Jeffco would just waste the money. Well, last year my 5th grader’s class was divided into 2.5 classrooms. This year, even with the new money that was supposed to go to the students, his grade will have only 2 classrooms with over 30 students in each of them. Isn’t this against the district’s guidelines prior to my increased taxes? The outdoor lab fee went up. Bus fees are $150 per child! Really? My 8th grader doesn’t even have a bus option unless he wants to walk a mile farther away from the school. I thought the fee for buses was going away after the increased taxes and funding for the district. I should have known better. Nothing has changed for my students other than everything has become more expensive and more crowded.

Then, BEST OF ALL, I hear from a school employee that the district created a brand new position for our ineffective principal that left at the end of last year. This new position was created specifically for her. So, the district creates new administrative positions, but can’t get a new 6th grade teacher? In fact, the district created 17 or 18 new positions for principals that left their schools—schools like Evergreen Middle, Evergreen High School, Conifer High and D’Evelyn—17 or 18 new positions with salaries likely over $80k/year.

How many new teachers could we have hired for that money?

How can it possibly be cost-effective in times of professed tight budget to add this amount of overhead and yearly expense to a budget that was supposedly already tight and in need of cut-backs? Those jobs are likely increasing the salary budget by $2 million with the costs of benefits added onto the $1.4 million in salaries.

When we as parents hear about ‘budget tightening’ that always seems to mean that our kids get shorted an activity or stuck in large classes, it never means that we lay off some administrators or reduce their salaries to a more reasonable level.

Please try your best to explain to me how this is going to benefit any of our kids. I’d really like to know how Jeffco and the school board can justify these new positions, designed for principals, so I can get the story right for the local news stations. They might like to investigate the story.

As a voter and parent of students in JCSD, I feel extremely betrayed and used.

Steve Jameson, Jeffco Parent, Lakewood

 

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR are welcome on a variety of topics. Please make your letter around 500 words. Pen names are allowed if you include an explanation. They can be submitted by email, if you include a phone number so that we can verify your name and details.